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260          MY    COUNTRY    AND    MY    PEOPLE

Paots'a more. If he prefers Taiyii, he is an idealist, and if he
prefers Pacts'a, he is a realist. If he likes Ch'ingwen, he will
probably become a good writer, and if he likes Hsiangyun, he
should equally admire Li Po's poetry. I like T'anch'un, who
has the combination of Taiyii's and PaotsVs qualities, and
who was happily married and became a good wife. The
character of Paoyii is decidedly weak, and far from desirable as
a "hero" to be worshipped by young men, but whether
desirable or not, the Chinese, men and women, have most of
them read the novel seven or eight times over, and a science
has developed which is called "redology" (hunghsueh, from
Red Chamber Dream], comparable in dignity and volume to the
Shakespeare or Goethe commentaries.

The Red Chamber Dream represents probably the height of the
art of writing novels in China, all things considered, but it
represents also only one type of novel. Briefly, Chinese novels
may be classified into the following types, according to their
contents. Their best-known representative works are given

1.  The novel of adventure:  Shuiku Ckuan  (All Men Are


2.  The supernatural novel or tale of wonder: HsiyuchL

3.  The historical novel: Three Kingdoms.

4.  The love romance: Red Chamber Dream.

5.  The pornographic novel: Chinp'inmei (Gold-Vase-Plum).

6.  The novel of social satire: Julinwaishih.

7.  The novel of ideas: Chinghuajuan.

8.  The novel of social manners: Strange Things of the Last

Twenty Years.

A strict classification is, of course, difficult. The Gold-Vase-Plum>
for instance, although four-fifths pornographic, is probably the
best novel of social manners in its ruthless and vivid portrayal
of common characters, the gentry and the "local rich," and
particularly of the position of women in Chinese society of the
Ming Period. To these novels proper we should have to add
tales and short stories in the broad sense, which have a very
long tradition, best represented by Liaotsai (Strange Stories Jrm